Ashraf Patel, India's Only Woman Social Innovator of the Year 2022, Addresses WEF Annual Meet at Davos!
Ashraf speaking at WEF annual Meet

‘Transforming through Trust' - Ashraf Patel, The only Indian Woman Social Innovator of the Year 2022, speaks on Youth Leadership at World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022 - Davos

Ashraf Patel, the only Indian woman to be recognized by World Economic Forum (WEF) and Schwab Foundation as the Social Innovator of the Year 2022, takes the stage at Davos to highlight the need to invest in youth-centric development across sectors. The World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2022, is being held from 22-26 May in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. The theme this year is History at a Turning Point: Government Policies and Business Strategies and brings together nearly 2,500 leaders and experts from around the globe, all committed to the “Davos Spirit” of improving the state of the world. As a part of the Annual Meeting, 15 Social Innovators from across the world were celebrated for their efforts to transform the world.

Ashraf Patel from India was recognized as one of 15 global Social Innovators by Schwab Foundation at the WEF Forum in January 2022 as Co-Founder, Pravah and ComMutiny - The Youth Collective. Speaking at the session ‘Transforming through Trust’ on 23rd May 2022, Ashraf called upon global leaders to invest in youth leadership at scale, by trusting in their abilities to address the most complex challenges that the world is facing in terms of inequality, conflict and ecological decline.

After nearly three decades of investing in building the youth development sector in India Ashraf, addressing global leaders and experts at the Annual Meeting, said, “Young people once trusted and brought into key and significant intergenerational decision making and dialogue spaces, not only bring alternative perspectives, but can help us challenge together, the status quo, bring out new innovations, entrepreneurship and spur tremendous social change action by being the change they want to see in the world.”

To work at scale with soul on youth leadership, Ashraf invited greater collaboration and solidarities across all sectors to realize the mission Every youth a Jargik, Every Space Nurturing Jagriks, where the Jagrik is a self awakened active citizen who inspires others. She highlighted the need to co-create such spaces with young people that nourish, love, learning, ownership, freedom and social hope.

Pravah, ComMutiny - The Youth Collective and the vartaLeap Coalition’s collective experience has repeatedly shown that young people are not leaders of tomorrow, but are leaders of today. As the COVID-19 pandemic threw up challenge after challenge, young people led from the front, investing time, money and heart in not just saving millions of lives but also in creating hope. Investing in youth leadership is not a saving for the future, it is an imperative for saving lives now.

While the Annual meeting is a coordinated effort to bring together all stakeholders to ensure a sustainable and equitable post-COVID era, topics ranging from harnessing emerging technologies for empowering the marginalized to systemic solutions for the world's most pressing problems were discussed during the ‘Transforming through Trust’ session.

Some other speakers at the session included Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and WEF; Hahrie Han, Inaugural Director, SNF Agora Institute and Professor of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University; Sam McCracken, Founder and General Manager, N7, Nike Inc and Sanjay Pradhan, CEO, Open Government Partnership.

In today’s deeply interconnected world, it is only through collaboration that all stakeholders can make a difference to transform lives. As shared by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum, “The Annual Meeting is the first summit that brings global leaders together in this new situation characterized by an emerging multipolar world as a result of the pandemic and war. The fact that nearly 2,500 leaders from politics, business, civil society and media come together in person demonstrates the need for a trusted, informal and action-oriented global platform to confront the issues in a crisis-driven world.”

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022:

For over 50 years, the World Economic Forum has been the international organization for public-private cooperation. The Annual Meeting is the focal point for leaders to accelerate the partnerships needed to tackle global challenges and shape a more sustainable and inclusive future. Convening under the theme 'History at a Turning Point: Government Policies and Business Strategies', the Annual Meeting 2022 and its 200 sessions brings together global leaders from business, government and civil society. Learn more about the programme and view sessions live and on-demand. A list of confirmed public figures can be found here.

Civil society is being represented by more than 200 leaders from NGOs, social entrepreneurs, academia, labor organizations, faith-based and religious groups, and over 400 media leaders and reporting press. The Annual Meeting will also bring together younger generations, with 100 members of the Forum’s Global Shaper and Young Global Leader communities participating.

About Ashraf Patel, Pravah and ComMutiny - The Youth Collective

Ashraf has been recognized as a flag bearer, pioneering youth work and giving youth development a language in India for over three decades as the Co-Founder of Pravah and ComMutiny - The Youth Collective. Over the last 29 years her work in Pravah and ComMutiny has been to advocate for a psycho-social approach to youth development; investing in young people not just to impact society at scale but also to transform mindsets and attitudes. This change in lens to development has been instrumental in creating sustainable impact on issues ranging from social inclusion, active citizenship, youth leadership to gender-based violence, patriarchy and 21st century skill building.

In addition to her roles at Pravah and ComMutiny, she is also bringing together the vartaLeap Coalition, a cross-sectoral formulation of 260+ youth engaging organizations and individuals from the development sector, government, media, educational institutions, and UN agencies who are working towards the mission ‘Every youth a Jagrik (Jagrik: a self-awakened, aware and active citizen), Every space nurturing Jagriks’. 

The VartaLeap Coalition became one of the most impactful collaborations in the country with a collective experience of 1500 years plus in youth development. The members are together playing a pivotal role in bringing partners from varied fields to experience and invest in youth centric approaches.

Together, this ecosystem has ‌actively engaged over 1200 youth organizations, supported the learning and leadership of more than 1 million young people and has an estimated outreach of over 50 million people through on-ground and online campaigns.

Ashraf has contributed significantly to framing policy and practice on adolescent and youth development at National and International levels. She has co-authored a number of learning resources and a field resource book 'Ocean in a Drop – Inside Out Youth Leadership' (Sage 2013). She is an Ashoka Fellow and the Social Entrepreneur of the Year (SEOY 2020). She is currently on the Board of leading organisations like Oxfam India, PHIA Foundation, IBTADA, Commonwealth Alliance of Youth WorkAssociations, International Forum for Volunteering in Development (IVCO) and a member of Vikalp Sangam, Catalyst 2030 and The WellbeingEcosystem.


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